ID :
Wed, 07/18/2012 - 15:12
Auther :

Rajesh Khanna, the man who brought superstardom to Hindi films is no more

Mumbai, Jul 18 (PTI) ) Bollywood's original superstar Rajesh Khanna, who charmed his way into the hearts of millions of swooning women in the 1960s and 70s, died here today. 69-year-old Khanna, who shot to superstardom with the 1969 hit 'Aradhana' opposite Sharmila Tagore, passed away at his home, two days after being discharged from Lilawati hospital. He had been ailing since April. Rajesh Khanna epitomised a range of emotions on the big screen--from melancholy to romance--with a rich bouquet of lilting songs like 'Zindagi ek safar hai suhana' and 'Mere sapno ki raani' making his movies and characters immortal. Bollywood's first superstar, the 69-year-old actor's mannerism, his unique style of dancing, dialogue delivery, disarming smile and the signature nod of his head added to his onscreen persona that made many a young woman's heart skip a beat. Despite his heartthrob status as a romantic hero, Khanna essayed a variety of roles--the terminally ill Anand in the Hrishikesh Mukherjee film, a romantic airforce officer in "Aradhana", a chef in "Bawarchi", a lonely husband in "Amar Prem" and a poor medical student in "Safar". Khanna, popularly called Kaka, generated hysteria among fans like never before. At the peak of his career, he would be mobbed during public appearances as fans kissed his car, which would be covered with lipstick marks. They lined the road, cheering and chanting his name. Female fans sent him letters written in blood. His predecessors Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar broke hearts in their time no doubt, but the hysteria connected with Khanna was unprecedented. Nicknamed 'Kaka', Khanna shot up like a meteor. Khanna also had a brush with politics after he stopped acting from early nineties. He won the Lok Sabha seat from New Delhi constituency in the 1991 elections. A series of emotional tragedies in which he acted — Anand, Safar and even Aradhana, though the tragic protagonist of that film was Sharmila Tagore rather than Khanna — gave his career a certain weight. Many of those who remember Khanna and his films actually remember the songs in those films with some songs remaining evergreen four decades after they kept the audience hooked to them. PTI